For the last couple of weeks, my writing has stalled. At the moment, I don't feel in a position to write so much as a sentence. I've been brainstorming potential solutions to a WIP plot problem, and coming up with nothing. I've also hit a brick wall with this new project I'm outlining - I can't for the life of me figure out a plot.
I might have figured out the reason why. It has something to do with a simple problem - forgetting why I write in the first place.
Recently I've been SO obsessed (and I mean seriously obsessed) with finding a fresh and original story to write. Something that's never been done that I might have a chance of selling. It's proving, right now at least, pretty much impossible. The reason - I'm trying too hard. Instead of focusing on making my characters as interesting and relatable as I can, I'm stressing out over plots, twists and hooks.
There's also another grim reality. Let's face it, plot structures, tropes and dare I say cliches exist because they work. The best writers put new and exciting faces on these things so we don't even notice they're operating (at least to my mind that's what they do, lol!). Whether it's new settings, twists, digging deep to mine possibilities of each and every trope we know and love...we shouldn't 'sense' the formula, but it's there. They also employ characters we can't help but love, or love to hate. Characters we haven't read about, who have a unique take on life. There are SO MANY books I love - but the plot details are hazy in my mind. It's the characters and their wants, needs and choices I remember.
So with that in mind I'm spending time reminding myself why these characters excite me. Why I'm compelled to explore their journeys. Even as I write this post I'm brainstorming a potential plot for them, all because I took a step back. And if it turns out too 'unoriginal' to query? I'll play with it until it's fresher. But from now on it's character first, plot second.
Here's to a successful writing week, everyone!